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May 11, 2023
As our society is becoming more and more aware of the complexities of the human psyche, we start to discover conversations that radiate a sense of discomfort. Mental Health, the effects of poverty, ACEs all things that have come into existence and play a major role on whether or not an individual will be able to move up in America’s social mobility and be able to provide a life better than their own. However one topic I feel is truly misunderstood and continues to be under-represented in policy making and academic Intergenerational Trauma. Intergenerational Trauma seems self explanatory, in a simple definition it is trauma faced by previous generations that remained undealt with and so continues to pass down to the next leaving a the pain and confusion but not the knowledge of what caused it. But this definition fails to give the true scope of how devastating it is to be a victim of the phenomenon, and there would be no better place to see the effects then on a Native American reservation.
Long before my life began, my people were forced to endure genocide, betray, the removal of themselves and their siblings from their families, for hundreds of years while it seemed like the whole world stood and watched. Only after relocating us to designed plots of unusable land, were we left to fully see the damages we had endured. Loss of culture, language, family, and heritage all while attempting to learn how to live in a society that was not of our own. But the suffering would not end there, in schools everyone was taught we were a primitive society. In textbooks they describe us as nothing more than mere obstacles like tornados, wildlife and disease. Even today many still refuse to recognize the extent this has had on my people and so does the federal government. This is my definition of intergenerational trauma, and looking into the current situation on reservations in America we will investigate how Killing the Indian and Saving the man has made economic mobility near impossible for what is left of Indian country.
The current living situations on reservations resemble those of third world countries, why this may be is not as clear as simple policy changes. If we take a look at statistics we can see that Native Americans significantly in worse conditions than the rest of the populations. Wheter it be in education success, poverty rates, drug abuse and home security and suicide . However these statistics fail to account for the decades long discrimination and deliberate acts on our ability to improve these factors of life. But that’s never discussed in history lessons nor is it even addressed in mainstream media. I ask you what you think this does to a young impressionable mind, someone who knows very little of the true story of what has occurred. But how does this play in the long run and connect to economics, well in 2022 a study was conducted over racial identity and the effects it has on adolescents. Researchers found that children at a young age begin to attempt to categorize themselves and create identities around the ethnicity they belong too. The study later goes on to analyze how negative interpretations of their ethnicity are self internalized by the children and creates the perception of life and their own abilities. Essentially what the child is told what their people are creates the standard of living for them. Now this is not the sole argument on why American Indians fall so behind but it is one that is detrimental to the recovery of our people.
Where I am attempting to go with this is that
This is what I have please just go into detail how intergenerational truama leads to no upward economical mobilization
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